Maintain Vehicle Batteries
When was the last time that you checked your car's battery? Most drivers rarely if ever check their battery. As a result, they are forced to replace sooner rather than later. When properly maintained, however, a high-quality battery can last for up to six years -- sometimes even longer. To extend the life of your car's battery, consider the five following maintenance tips.
#1) Clean Terminals Once a Year
At least once a year, should clean the battery terminals to ensure high electrical conductivity. It's not uncommon for battery terminals to develop a layer of corrosion over time. If left unchecked, the corrosion will inhibit the flow of electricity from the battery to the positive and negative connectors. You can easily clean the battery terminals using a scrub brush and some baking soda.
#2) Tighten Connectors
In addition to cleaning the terminals once a year, you should also tighten the connectors. If either the positive or negative connector comes loose, it won't be able to create a strong and secure connection with the battery. The good news is that most connectors can be adjusted using a socket wrench. Just loosen the connectors, place them over the battery terminals, and then retighten them.
#3) Beware for Vampire Drain
Vampire drain is an all-too-common phenomenon that occurs with car batteries. With vampire drain, at least one other electronic device or component in the car constantly pulls electricity from the battery. As a result, your car may fail to start after sitting overnight if it suffers from vampire drain. If you believe vampire drain is causing problems with your car's battery, use process of elimination to identify the specific electronic device or component that's pilling electricity from the battery.
#4) Secure the Battery in Place
A loose battery may sound harmless enough, but it can lead to several problems. If the battery is loose, it may tip over, resulting in spilled acid that damages nearby components in the engine bay. At the same time, a loose battery may fail to create a strong connection with the connectors.
#5) Remove When Storing Car for Long Periods
If you're planning to store your car for a long period of time, consider removing the battery. Car batteries don't hold up well in storage. Exposure to subfreezing temperatures is particularly harmful to automotive batteries. It adversely affects the battery's ability to hold a charge, thereby forcing you to replace it. If you're planning to store your car for a long period, especially during the winter, consider removing the battery and taking it indoors.